How can companies promote the compatibility of family and work?

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Mother sits on the sofa with a laptop and her daughter lies next to her
The most important things about combining family and career

reading time: ca. 4 minutes

  • Family-friendly employers, regulated childcare and financial security are important for reconciling family and career.
  • Everyday family life often brings some challenges where mothers and fathers have to be very spontaneous at times.
  • Employers should support their employees with concrete measures to reconcile family and work.
  • For parents, there is no patent remedy on how to balance work and family, but we provide helpful tips.

For people with children or relatives in need of care, everyday life is often stressful - and they often have to combine it with their job on top of that. For this reason, companies should shape their working environment in a family-friendly way.

It is about finding the perfect balance between family and work. Flexible working hours, childcare options or working in a home office are useful for this.

What does it mean to combine family and work?

Get up, have breakfast, prepare everyone to leave... then take the children to kindergarten or school and off to work. A morning in the life of a family can be quite hectic. For parents to have a little less stress, it is good to create a work-life balance.

In order to better combine family and career, a family-friendly employer, regulated childcare and, last but not least, financial security are important. Even today, women in particular have to do their part to cope with everyday life with job and children. However, both parents are required to balance work and family.

Not only the care of children is part of this issue, but also the care of relatives. Due to demographic change, the population is getting older and older people often need more complex care.

How companies can become family-friendly

At work, it is very important for parents to see a family-friendly approach. As a result, companies can position themselves as attractive employers and retain qualified employees.

Flexible working hours make sense for potential employees with families to choose a company. This allows parents to organise themselves better and to cope with everyday life with children.

Of course, parents want to spend as much time as possible with their children, but they also want to combine it with their professional success. Therefore, companies can offer or promote care models. This can include company childcare, au-pairs or daycare. This also applies to the care of relatives.

They should actively pursue the topic of combining family and work and integrate it into their corporate culture. It is an argument for applicants to choose a particular company. Further, employees feel more comfortable in family-friendly companies and develop a high level of loyalty in the long term.

Little girl rides a bike and her parents help her - Family and work

Companies can support families with these measures.

The day-to-day work is often stressful for many employees and they are glad when they can call it a day. But when they have to take care of family members or children at home, the work-life balance can become unstable. That is why employers should actively support their employees in balancing both.

The following measures can be helpful for companies to give mothers more career opportunities and fathers more family time:

  • Flexible working hours: The more flexible working hours are, the better families can adapt to the opening hours of kindergartens, schools or other institutions. This includes flexitime and part-time work. These family-friendly models give employees the chance to adapt their daily routine well to their working life and make it easier, for example, to return to work.
  • Home office days: Working from home also makes parents' lives more flexible, as they can, for instance, save themselves a trip to work. Depending on the distance between home and work, this can save one to two hours.
  • Child care: Traditional company kindergartens or cooperations with existing childcare facilities are advantageous for employees. Especially in times when there is a fierce competition for day-care places for the next generation. In addition, the employer can also provide a subsidy for private childcare.
  • Further education: One year of parental leave and the employee has lost his or her bond with the company? That won't happen if they stay in touch with their employees even during their absence. This can happen, for example, through offers for further education - so no one will lose touch.

Why is it difficult to combine work and family life?

Kindergarten opening hours, illness or other emergencies - family life often creates some challenges. Mothers and fathers sometimes have to be spontaneous and take care of childcare.

Many companies have recognised this and introduced family-friendly measures for their employees. There is a positive development that allows parents more flexibility. Nevertheless, there are also some problems for working parents.

At the beginning of a career, employees are often given fixed-term contracts. For them it is a financial insecurity and often makes family planning difficult, which is why many first wait and see.

[Translate to english:] Papa arbeitet und Kind sitzt daneben – Vereinbarkeit von Familie und Beruf

Especially in large cities, kindergarten places are often scarce. If one's own child does not currently get a place, it can happen that one parent has to take care of their child while working. This can be very stressful and cause frustration. When parents have to look for alternative childcare, the next problem immediately arises. The cost of childcare is very high and places a heavy financial burden on parents.

5 valuable tips for working parents

There is no patent remedy for parents on how to balance work and family life. Nevertheless, there are tips that can make everyday life a little easier.

  • Encouraging children's independence and creating the conditions for this, for example having a school nearby - this does not only relieve the parents but is also good for the children's self-confidence.
  • Really calling it a day and not taking the work home with you - that's the way to go. The double burden is exhausting enough, so time with the family should be enjoyed.
  • Actively engage in politics to create better conditions for reconciling family and work.
  • By structuring everyday life well and prioritising tasks, parents can create more freedom - and thus time for themselves.
  • Even in stressful situations, keep calm and simply stop for a moment, take a breath and smile - everything will be fine again!
Flexible working models and financial security make a good employer?

OVB offers its employees exactly that and much more.

Learn more about OVB

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